One of two men shot dead by security forces outside a free speech event in Garland, Tx., Sunday Night has been identified as an Arizona resident well known to the FBI after a previous terror investigation, reports ABC News. The network says a search of the Phoenix home of Elton Simpson has been conducted by by bomb experts looking for possible explosives — there’s no word yet on what may have been found.
“Officials believe Simpson is the person who sent out several Twitter messages prior to the attack on Sunday, in the last one using the hashtag #TexasAttack about half an hour before the shooting,” according to the ABC News report.
Authorities in Texas say that two men drove up in a car and opened fire outside a community center where the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) was hosting what it called a free speech event that would award a $10,000 prize for the best cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad. A security guard outside the Culwell Center was reportedly wounded in the ankle, then other officers returned fire at the two gunmen and killed them before they could hurt anyone else.
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The second gunman killed in the gunfight has not been identified as of this writing.
On Fox and Friends Monday morning, the organizer of the event in Garland, AFDI President Pamela Geller, said, “there is a war on free speech.” When asked if she thought, as some critics have suggested, that there was another way to make her point without doing something that is considered offensive to devout Muslims, Geller lit up:
“I’m not responsible for the violence conducted by others,” Geller told the three hosts of Fox and Friends. “It’s outrageous that this would even be the morally inverted view of the media, that somehow because we drew a cartoon that two gunmen with AK-47s tried to storm the building and shoot up innocent people, and somehow they’re not responsible?”
By clicking on the video above, you can watch the entire interview with AFDI’s Pamela Geller in which she vowed, “We will not abridge our freedom of speech in order to not offend savages.”
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